I'll get to that....tomorrow. Image found on http://taezar.wordpress.com/

In the heydays of print, radio and television advertising,  it was all about the message conveyed to the consumer that they should use your product instead of the competition.  Catchphrases, jingles, funny characters and images were used to get you to engage with them at their store.  It is similar with politics. A candidate would use the forms of advertising to urge you to vote their way come election day.   All this cost money!  So if a non-profit wants to convey the importance to support your local public school, or cancer awareness, they would have to seek cost-effective alternatives to raise awareness of their cause.  Often times, the alternatives are over shadowed by big business and political machinery.  However, Social Media has narrowed the gap between these forces to help local causes spread their message.

It is the target audience themselves that in a way replace the need of money to determine  the effectiveness of brand awareness.  When you become a fan or follower of a brand, you become a supporter.  You become an affiliate advertiser and the organizer that does the best job of encouraging you to tell others about their cause will see a greater return for the time they spend engaging you.   Social Media breaks the mold of simple messaging in hopes that you will respond. It creates a 2 way conversation between the cause and the supporter.

However, To meet this 2 way conversation, the supporter needs to ENGAGE with the cause they choose to follow online.   Do not be a SLACKTIVIST! By just liking a Facebook Fan page or following a brand on Twitter that advocates for education, for example, and not sharing their recent news, commenting on their status updates, taking the call to action or even just liking their comments,  you are being a slacktivist.  A slacktivist is “someone who engages in a variety of “feel-good” measures that have little to no practical effect on the cause except making the slacktivist feel good”.

Local causes go on social media because they believe that they can connect with their supporters where they are located.  Many organizations do a great job of engaging their fans that like their pages.  Ultimately, The burden lies on such organizations to produce the quality content for you to enjoy and engage with. So the least you can do is show your appreciation for the work the cause engages in. Give them a “like” or two a week (or make a suggestion for them to better themselves)  and watch how the cause grows thanks to you showing them what you think.    Remember, at the end of the day, Social Media is a 2 way street and to see a cause important to you succeed, you have to do your part.